Segments in this Video

Debate "Housekeeping" (03:29)


Moderator John Donvan provides the framework for the debate on student debt forgiveness, instructs the audience to vote, and introduces panelists.

Opening Statements For: Ashley Harrington (03:59)

Center for Responsible Lending Federal Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Harrington states that student debt is burdening American society and disproportionately affects borrowers of color. Debt cancellation will introduce millions of dollars back into the economy.

Opening Statements Against: Nick Gillespie (04:15)

"Reason" Editor-at-Large Gillespie states that we should not cancel student debt en-masse; we mistake an aggregate number for the effect on individuals. Student debt forgiveness should occur for targeted groups.

Opening Statements For: Dalie Jimenez (04:13)

Student Loan Law Initiative Director and Professor Jimenez agrees that student debt helps many people but it disproportionately does not help students of color. Student debt should not be the only way low-income people can get ahead.

Opening Statements Against: Beth Akers (04:12)

American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Akers believes we need a more nuanced solution to problems with higher education. Forgiving student debt would be a regressive policy. Statistically, those who are defaulting the most are those with balances less than $5,000.

Across the Board Loan Forgiveness (09:22)

Donvan summarizes opening statements and points of difference. Harrington explains why student debt should be cancelled for everyone. Gillespie believes wealthy people should be responsible for paying their way. Jimenez argues that the rich have wealth to fall back on if in default.

For Profit College (07:24)

Panelists argue student percentages in relation to debt relief and default. Akers identifies the program already in place for borrowers. Harrington counters that canceling student debt provides space to make an income-based repayment system that works.

Debt Responsibility and Budget (03:59)

Panelists argue whether debt forgiveness gets added to the federal balance sheet. Harrington states that student debt is holding down the balance sheet of individual people. Jimenez acknowledges there is an interim period of student debt forgiveness.

Economic Stimulus (04:07)

An individual's education is a public good. Akers states that the regressive nature of the policy is a problem. Harrington counters that a monthly payment is hard for many people who are struggling.

Individual vs. Generality (11:03)

Gillespie cites general statements about student debt that should remain in the forefront. Jimenez counters that Gillespie is talking about the average white person. Panelists discuss students who do not finish college and people starting at different places.

Social Disparity (07:19)

More students of color who obtain federal loans do not finish college than their white counterparts. Gillespie insists on a class-based argument. Jimenez and Harrington argue that income and wealth are not the same; debt is not the way to fund higher education.

Closing Statements For: Harrington (02:33)

It is no acceptable to do the minimum and expect people to get along. Student debt forgiveness has to be part of the solution to creating a more equitable system.

Closing Statements Against: Gillespie (02:10)

Ubiquitous student debt forgiveness mistakes the social reality. We need a system that allows people to fully participate in higher education. Providing grants to low-income individuals and those who need help will make college more affordable.

Closing Statements For: Jimenez (02:07)

Equal access to education opportunity is a right. Approximately 56% of black borrowers do not earn a college degree; many people of color do not have family wealth. In 2019, a borrower of federal student loans defaulted every 26 seconds.

Closing Statements Against: Akers (02:03)

Effective mechanisms for social mobility are necessary to make a capitalist economy sustainable. Higher education is the core mechanism for social mobility and needs to be affordable. Targeted relief would be beneficial.

Debate Voting (02:23)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote and thanks participants. He encourages viewers to visit the IQ2 website.

Credits: Forgive Student Debt (00:17)

Credits: Forgive Student Debt

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Forgive Student Debt

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Facing growing discontent over rising student loan repayments that burden many young Americans, some are calling on lawmakers in Washington to forgive—that is, cancel—much of the $1.7 trillion that students have borrowed from the federal government to finance their educations. Canceling student debt, supporters argue, would help level the playing field, stimulate the economy, and free graduates to pursue what they want. But such cancelation, opponents argue, would balloon the federal deficit, waste taxpayer money, and benefit wealthy borrowers who don’t need their student loans forgiven. Should America forgive student debt?

Length: 74 minutes

Item#: BVL274249

ISBN: 978-1-63722-559-2

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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